Black Music City announces 23 grants for local artists
Black Music City has selected 23 local Black musicians and artists from over 600 applicants to receive grants to produce artworks inspired by the city’s rich Black music history.
The project, a partnership between WXPN, WRTI and REC Philly, will award $48,000 to the recipients, who were chosen by a committee of local Black professionals in the arts, media and business. Each artist will receive between $1,000 and $3,500 in funding to produce their work.
Through music, visual and digital art, poetry and multimedia, many of the artists will honor influential figures in Black Philly music including Tammi Terrell, Trudy Pitts, Marian Anderson, The Delfonics, Teddy Pendergrass and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Others will explore historical artistic movements, from Black dance bands during the 1930s and 40s to Philly Soul to Afrofuturism.
Kyra Williams will use photography, videography and illustration to honor the musical contributions of Black women from Philadelphia, all the way from Billie Holiday to Tierra Whack, in The Voices of Sisterly Affection.
Jamaaladeen Tacuma will produce a musical tribute to bassist Ronnie Baker, guitarist Norman Harris and drummer Earl Young, the often unsung rhythm section behind the early Philly sound, and Warren Oree will use song to honor Lee Morgan and the Philly contribution to hard bop jazz music.
Aniyah Munroe‘s digital art project Before Me will depict the immortality and timelessness of artists who came before their time, Allen Green will use digital art to explore the role of social justice advocacy among Philadelphia musicians, and Anima Danquah‘s The Sound of Philly Mixtape will honor the evolution and influence of Philadelphia musicians through the generations.
John Morrison, host of WXPN’s Culture Cypher Radio, will produce Culture Cypher Magazine, a creative print publication honoring Philadelphia’s music and arts culture.
“Reviewing the submissions was an incredible reminder of the breadth and depth of talent we have in our city,” said committee member Gerald Veasley, President of Jazz Philadelphia.
Chill Moody, City of Philadelphia Music Ambassador, said, “We’re all excited to see these amazing jawns come to life.”
Grant recipients will be featured in videos hosted by artist and Black Music City spokesperson Suzann Christine chronicling their creative processes as they embark on these projects. Projects will be completed by the end of May and exhibited during African American Music Appreciation Month in June. For a complete list of all the grant recipients, and update on the project go to: BlackMusicCity.com.